CHUUK STATE SUPREME COURT
Cite as Hethon v. Os, 9 FSM Intrm. 534
(Chuuk S. Ct. Tr. 2000)
LIWIS OS, (aka KASMIAN) and SUDA
BEYONG as Polle Election Commissioner,
CSSC CA NO. 174-2000
Wanis R. Simina
Decided: August 22, 2000
For the Plaintiff: Johnny Meippen, Esq.
P.O. Box 705
Weno, Chuuk FM 96942
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The issue of whether a person is entitled to have his name placed on the ballot is an election case, over which neither division of the Chuuk State Supreme Court has original jurisdiction, and which is placed solely in the hands of the Chuuk State Election Commission with the Chuuk State Supreme Court appellate division having jurisdiction only as provided in the Election Law of 1996. Hethon v. Os, 9 FSM Intrm. 534, 535 (Chk. S. Ct. Tr. 2000).
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WANIS R. SIMINA, Associate Justice:
This case comes before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction and a Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief. The Complaint and Motion seek orders from this Court to prohibit the placing of Defendant Liwis Os' name on the ballot for the upcoming Polle municipal election on the grounds alleging that he is a convicted felon thereby disqualifying him as a candidate and a further order of this Court to prohibit the conduct or administration of the upcoming Polle municipal election entirely.
On numerous occasions, this Court has stated in clear and unambiguous terms that it is without jurisdiction to consider cases or issues such as outlined above.
Counsel for Plaintiff is referred to Section 6 of the Chuuk State Election Law of 1996, which provides in part as follows: "The commission shall have direct and immediate supervision over the municipal and state officials designated in accordance with this Act and laws of the State of Chuuk to perform duties relative to the conduct of elections." Chk. S.L. No. 3-95-26, § 6.
Section 6 also provides for the removal by the Commission of any election official "who shall be found guilty of nonfeasance, or misfeasance in connection with the performance of their duties relative to the conduct of elections." Id.
Specifically, the issue of whether Defendant Os is entitled to be placed on the ballot, is beyond the jurisdiction of this Court and placed solely in the hands of the Chuuk State Election Commission is made clear in Section 9 of the Chuuk State Election Law of 1996 which states as follows:
Placement on ballot. No person shall be placed on the ballot for election to any public office unless the Commission has determined after a through examination and investigation that said person possesses or meets the qualifications required by law and the Constitution for the office for which he seeks nomination.
Chk. S.L. No. 3-95-26, § 9.
Counsel is also referred to Section 55, Chk. S.L. No. 3-95-26, § 55, for the filing of a complaint with the Election Commission. Also, it should be noted that only the Appellate Division of the Chuuk State Supreme Court has any jurisdiction of election matters and only as provided for in Sections 130 through 139, of the Election Law of 1996. Chk. S.L. No. 3-95-26, § 130-139.
Clearly, this is an election case and cases before both the Appellate Division and the Trial Division of this Court have held that neither division has original jurisdiction to decide election matters. See David v. Uman Election Comm'n, 8 FSM Intrm. 300d (Chk. S. Ct. App. 1998); Weita v. David, CSSC CA No. 156-99; Phillip v. Phillip, 9 FSM Intrm. 226 (Chk. S. Ct. Tr. 1999); Phillip v. Phillip, CSSC CA No. 163-99.
Based on the foregoing the relief sought by Plaintiff is due to be denied, and it is so ordered, further ordered that the Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order and for a Preliminary injunction is hereby denied, and further ordered that the Complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief is dismissed with prejudice.